The Top 5 Fights Of June 2011: Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo, Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin, And More

Hello again fans and friends, and welcome to the start of a new once-a-month series! With how insanely stuffed full of good MMA action June 2011 was, I figured it would only be suitable to start a “Top 5 Fights of the Month” post with June as the inaugural month. Not only will this topic give readers the chance to look back and discuss all the best moments of the previous month, it’ll also be a way for me to one day select a “Fight of the Year” by facing off the individual “Fight of the Month” winners against each other. So, with all that said, let’s take a look at the five best fights of June 2011.

5. KJ Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce: “Overeem vs. Werdum”.

Who would have thought that Jorge Masvidal would be the one to out-punch, out-last, and generally school KJ Noons in a fight that almost exclusively played itself out on the feet? I certainly didn’t. I don’t know what Jorge Masvidal that was, but for the first time in the longest time, it was a Jorge Masvidal I actually liked. Tasked to shine in a major match-up, Masvidal showed up like never before and left Noons a bloody, beaten mess. Noons, to his credit, never gave up and tried his hardest to make the fight competitive. Definitely a worthy starter to this list.

4. Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft at “UFC on Versus 4”

Christian Morecraft did his best to knock out Matt Mitrione, and it was very clear that both men had a lot of bad blood for each other and wanted to take it out on each other once the Octagon door closed. But with some of the best footwork in today’s Heavyweight division, Mitrione picked Morecraft apart before KO’ing him with a three-hit combo. It was a tough fight for both men, and a very entertaining bout.

3. Nazareno Malegarie vs. Jacob DeVree at Bellator 46.

Malegarie found himself in a bit of a “sink or swim” fight at Bellator 46, coming off of his first loss as a professional. For three rounds he constantly hunted for submissions, and for two of those rounds, DeVree was simply too elusive and made Malegarie pay for every attempt, scoring some good Ground and Pound and most likely walking away with the fight on the judge’s scorecards. But in the third and final round, Malegarie finally locked in a submission and forced the tapout. It was a great come-from-behind victory, and a pretty great fight as well.

2. Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry at “UFC on Versus 4”.

How could I not have this fight very, very high on a list like this? It was one of the most amazing comebacks of all time. This is a fight that will live on in highlight reels for years to come. Many people consider it one of the best comebacks in MMA and UFC history, others contend that it’s the best one period. But me? I just want to sit back and enjoy this fight… again and again and again. It’s a memory I won’t forget for a long time, and only one fight was better in terms of entertainment.

And the number-one fight of June 2011 was…

1. Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin at UFC 131: “Dos Santos vs. Carwin”.

Destruction. Pure devastation. That’s what JDS did to Carwin at UFC 132. You could make a serious argument that the fight should have been stopped when JDS caught Carwin flush with a flurry and nearly knocked him out. But the fight went on, and by the end, Carwin looked as if he had spent the last fifteen minutes banging his head into a wall. And to be honest… he kinda did. The wall just happened to be hitting him and not him hitting it, and the wall was in the form of a dangerous Brazilian’s fist. Junior dos Santos gave a near-flawless performance at UFC 131, and with that and Carwin’s efforts to stay in the fight, I think this fight definitely deserves to be highlighted as the best fight of July 2011.